New music for 2009

Yes! It’s my annual “new to me” top 10 post: the top music I’ve come across over the past year, based on Last.fm scrobbles. Here’s the chart:

Chart of new music for 2009

Bubbling under: Casiotone For The Painfully Alone (70), Little Boots (70), Bad Lieutenant (59), The xx (50), The Hidden Cameras (44), St Vincent (26, all in the last week of the year).

The main difference compared with previous years is where I’m coming across new stuff. For the past few years, eMusic has been my main source for discovering new music. This year, it’s been eclipsed by a combination of Twitter and Spotify, to the extent that I’m still pondering whether to ditch my eMusic subscription.

The Twitter/Spotify dynamic has encouraged two other trends: first, being surprised by artists I wouldn’t have expected to like (Amanda Palmer, Public Enemy, Lily Allen); second, rediscovering old music that had previously passed me by for one reason or another (Tindersticks, Cocteau Twins, The Auteurs). Arguably The Auteurs shouldn’t be on the list, as I used to own their New Wave album on CD and got rid of it some years ago: Spotify enabled me to discover, belatedly, just how foolish a decision that had been.

Another way to discover new music in the social media age: Camera Obscura and The Clientele both cropped up in replies to tweets I’d posted saying “Can’t think of anything to listen to, anyone got any suggestions?”

Rather than writing an essay about each artist, here is a sample track for each one. The links are to YouTube videos, to avoid excluding the Spotify-challenged, but if you do have Spotify then I’ve also set them up as a playlist:

But to conclude this post, a video that highlights a large part of the appeal of Amanda Palmer: her direct and transparent relationship with her fans (she wrote the song and posted it straight onto YouTube as part of a discussion about Lady Gaga), her engaging personality, her humour and her incisive songwriting. Enjoy!

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5 Responses to New music for 2009

  1. Nic says:

    Thanks… a brilliant post… or rather a brilliant selection. Thank you!

  2. Sylvia Discount says:

    John, such a coincidence. I was just reading a book discussing Luther and the rise of humanism, and was thinking of writing to you about it. The book mentions Holbein’s Corpse of Christ painting. I google-imaged it, clicked on one of the pictures, and up popped your blog. Isn’t that funny? Hope all well.

  3. John H says:

    Hi Sylv: I’m just glad to see that Google knows a quality site when it sees one. đŸ˜‰

    What was the book, btw? Sounds interesting.

  4. Larry W says:

    Interesting sounds! Most new to me, some known and loved (PE, Cocteau Twins, Camera Obscura).
    Look forward to the book title too.

  5. Lorne says:

    check out music by Keith and Kristyn Getty at http://www.gettymusic.com. They have great music with great lyrics. They have an Irish connection.

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